Friday, 15 June 2012
1-4 But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place:…….. “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you……I stated somewhat sarcastically in a previous blog post that I would extol the benefits of a brain hemorrhage some other time. As crazy as it seems, I believed that day would come.The time is now. I’ll admit upfront that I have not always worn my disability well. In fact, I have been on an emotional roller coaster with more dips than peaks. I have missed terribly my ability to be active, productive, creative and gainfully employed. One of my friends proffered that this experience may be harder for me because I had been so active with many interests and hobbies.
Oh, what I would have missed if not for two unrelated (really?) brain hemorrhages.
One injury (Aug. 2011) was to my brain stem. A collection of blood vessels with no where to go decide to bleed into my brain. It’s still there, dormant for the time being, and considered inoperable by most neuro surgeons. The second bleed, (Dec. 2011) was a blood clot to my right parietal lobe.
The most wonderful thing I’ve experienced is love. My husband, John, faced tough decisions early on and he exercised great calm and wisdom. He refuses to be negative with me, even when I invite him to be an honored guest at my pity party. Daily he reminds me of his love for me, encourages me, helps me and prays for me. His love and strength is the cradle that holds and soothes me.
I also have experienced the love of my daughters in a profound way. My eldest and yougest flew in from San Francisco and Hawaii to be at my hospital bedside. Their significant others also came, providing support to them and all of us. Early on, my survival was uncertain. Nichola has flown to my home twice to provide care and simply be with me. I have been surprised and delighted b y how much my grown daughters still want and need me in their lives.
My three sisters dropped what they were doing, gathered together, and drove to Iowa City to be with us in August. If not for a video sister Laurie shot on her phone, I might not have believed they were actually there. I have very few recollections from that time because of the injury to my brain. I talked and seemed to make sense (most of the time), but my memory is sketchy and has been mostly erased.
My stepdaughter, DeeDee, drove to the hospital in Eastern Iowa from Denver twice which meant much to John, and means a lot to me. I had other visitors as well which truly amazes me. Several friends and family members were planning short visits to our home; instead, they drove to Iowa City, at some inconvenience. I feel wonderfully loved as I review all that I’ve been told about that time. I never believed, on some level, that I deserved such love and attention, but am forever grateful and changed by it.
Our wonderful neighbors provided care for our dog so John needn’t worry about her. Even now Sasha, our GoldenDoodle, gets very excited whenever she sees Mike and Susan.
I am presently the recipient of one of my church’s ministries. Beth visits me weekly for companionship, Bible study and prayer, easing my alone-ness In the past, it was I who did the ministering. It is humbling to be on the accepting side, yet I believe it’s as important to receive as give. I’m trying to be a gracious receiver; I am certainly appreciative.
I have always relied somewhat on my appearance to buoy my fragile self-esteem. To feel more worthy, I strived to have an attractive appearance and worked very hard to cultivate that as well as strive for excellence in my vocational work, church work and hobbies. It was a fleeting and false source of self-esteem.
I have never before experienced such an outpouring of love from others. Most importantly, the Lord is teaching me that my true value has nothing to do with how I look or what I can do. (Who’da thunk?)
I received many cards in the mail and encouragement from friends on Facebook. Many Facebook ”friends” have truly become friends and I have renewed old friendships. These people have demonstrated to me what I have known in theory: there is power in remembrance. I intend to be more sensitive to the needs of those around me from now on.
I especially appreciate those who pray for me. God is my source and nothing happens to me that isn’t first sifted through His loving hands and deemed profitable for me and His kingdom.
I have the gift of time now. I have never been the best steward of time, but now I sense the Lord asking me to use this time well. I’m trying.
I also feel grateful that my injuries are no worse. I can walk, talk and think. Many good people are worse off. I think the Lord allowed just so much injury and no more. I believe there has to be a reason. I think that reason has to do with the work I am to do.
Of all the things I’ve learned, the most important is this: I am loved. It’s a glorious feeling and it gives me strength to persevere. I would have never had the courage to ask for this present life; it’s the most difficult time I have ever experienced. If I could not find purpose in my present state, I would be a very bitter person, indeed.
My favorite verse of scripture has always been Romans 8:28; it has new meaning for me now.
Rom.8:28 ″And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
How has your faith pulled you through a difficult time? How has Christian community supported you as you faced challenges?